Figure 1. Attendees at the first annual Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association meeting in Bonesteel, SD. Photo by Brittany Steffen.
Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association Annual Meeting
South Dakota’s first ever prescribed burn association held its first annual meeting March 3 in Bonesteel, SD. The Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association (MMRPBA) was initially formed by ranchers and landowners in Gregory County and now comprises roughly 35 landowners in Gregory, Lyman, Charles Mix, and Brule Counties (Figure 2). The primary goal of the MMRPBA is to control cedar tree infestation and improve grassland health by conducting prescribed fires mainly in land along the Missouri River and surrounding areas.
The annual meeting was a great success with an excellent turnout of ranchers, landowners, and absentee landowners (Figure 1). Presentations and an excellent meal by the South Dakota Cattlewomen’s Rosebud Ranchettes were enjoyed by all who attended.
Figure 2. Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association coverage area.
Brian Teeter, Prescribed Fire Coordinator with Nebraska Pheasants Forever based in Schuyler NE and Jim Mathine, District Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Spencer, NE both gave excellent presentations about utilizing prescribed fire to control cedar trees and improve grassland health (Figure 3). Brian shared excellent drone videos of prescribed burns conducted across Nebraska along with videos illustrating the proper methods for establishing effective firebreaks. Jim shared many excellent photos of successful prescribed burns conducted just across the South Dakota border in Boyd County, NE. Jim also shared the important aspects of developing a burn plan.
Figure 3. Brian Teeter, Prescribed Fire Coordinator with Nebraska Pheasants Forever, Schuyler, NE. Photo by Brittany Steffen.
As conducting prescribed burns to control cedar trees and improve grassland health becomes an accepted practice on private land in South Dakota (Figure 4), the MMRPBA would like to thank the presenters from Nebraska for sharing their knowledge and expertise. They would also like to thank the ranchers and landowners from Nebraska who have assisted the MMRPBA with planning and conducting prescribed burns last year. The MMRPBA has several prescribed burns scheduled for this burn season and looks forward to another successful year.
Figure 4. Prescribed burn on the Rich and Sara Grim Ranch along the Missouri River in Gregory County in 2016. Photo by Brittany Steffen.
For more information, visit the MMRPBA on Facebook.